Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Tracy Scollin Tel 020 8359 2315 Email: tracy.scollin@barnet.gov.uk 

Link: Click here for the meeting

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 308 KB

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 16th September were approved as an accurate record.

2.

Absence of Members (If any)

    Minutes:

    None.

3.

Declaration of Members' Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Interests (If any)

    Minutes:

    Cllr Rich declared an interest under item 8 – he is a Youth Magistrate in another Borough.

4.

Report of the Monitoring Officer (If any)

    Minutes:

    None.

5.

Public Comments and Questions (If any)

    Minutes:

    None.

6.

Members' Items (If any)

    Minutes:

    None.

7.

Re-provision of Hendon Library and Local Studies Centre, Relocation of School Libraries Resource Service pdf icon PDF 497 KB

    Minutes:

    The Chairman introduced the item, noting that this is a great opportunity for Barnet further to the building of new libraries in other areas of the Borough, bringing new technology and being part of a wider regeneration of the Hendon area.

     

    Cllr Conway made the following queries and comments:

     

    ·       Cllr Conway requested callover ahead of future CLLC meetings so that the Labour Group can be fully briefed. This was agreed.

    Action: Governance Officer

     

    ·       Hendon Library is of historic importance locally and nationally. Cllr Conway felt that the consultation process seemed relatively quick and requested more details about it.

     

    Ms Richens, Head of Library Services reported that the consultation would be phased over a long period of time, beginning in spring 2021. This would be subject to Policy & Resources Committee’s agreement of the proposals in December. There would be detailed discussions with residents on what they want from the new site and a range of engagement activities.

     

    ·       How would the new library’s floor space compare to the current library, including prior to Middlesex University leasing part of the latter?

     

    Ms Richens responded that proposed footprint is around 800sq metres; around 150 metres larger than the current site, with a more efficient use of space than the present building. Ms Richens would respond after the meeting on the size of the library before the lease to Middlesex University.

    Action: Ms Richens

     

    ·       How would archive material be stored? This is a valuable resource. For example, the stained-glass windows of the old Church End Library had been damaged and lost in the process of the new one being built.

     

    Ms Richens noted that Barnet’s archivist, Mr Petrie would be closely involved in this so that items would be stored appropriately.

     

    ·       How much was being spent on the recent refurbishment of Hendon Town Hall?

     

    This information was not available at the meeting and this is not covered in the report, which related to the libraries only. 

     

    ·       As Middlesex University is looking to modernise library sites, Burnt Oak Library frontage and site needs refurbishment more urgently than Hendon Library. There appears to be a divorce between libraries in most people’s understanding, and the estates that a council manages.

     

    Ms Richens responded that she had discussed the infrastructure development plan with the Growth Team and this had included a discussion about Burnt Oak Library.

     

    ·       Cllr Rich asked about the current car park, used by Members and officers, where the new library would be situated.

     

    Ms Richens noted that it was unclear whether anyone other than Members and officers used the car park. The Chairman noted that it is not heavily used and that he felt confident that officers would look into this.

     

    ·       Cllr Fluss commented that as Hendon Ward Councillor she could not see the reason to leave the Grade II Listed Hendon Library or why it would benefit Barnet residents.

     

    She asked whether Middlesex University would pay for the Library at Egerton Road and what the cost would be. Would there be anything else on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Business Planning 2020-2025 pdf icon PDF 774 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman introduced the report (supplement version with amendments). He reported that further to publication he had been informed of a typo: the third paragraph of the ‘summary’ section states that there is a shortfall in savings for 2021-22 of £5.618million, whereas it is clear from the table below that this should have stated £3.890million.

     

     

    ·       Cllr Fluss referred to page 25 of the report - increase promotion and invest in Hendon Town Hall (HTH) - does Middlesex University, since it leases HTH, pay for all works there as part of their lease?

     

    Mr May, Head of Customer and Digital Services, responded that full detailed proposals would be worked up in 2021 to enable implementation in the financial year 22/23Initially the proposal is to increase income and to achieve this would require improvements to HTH. The responsibilities of Middlesex University and the details of any refurbishment would be agreed in 2021.

     

    ·       Cllr Fluss requested to see the terms of the lease so that if Middlesex University is required to carry out full repairs this can be addressed. Mr May agreed to provide this to Cllr Fluss outside the meeting.

    Action: Mr May

     

    ·       Cllr Rich stated that the Law Commission had proposed to liberalise marriage ceremonies which may mean fewer would take place at HTH, resulting in reduced income. 

     

    My May agreed, adding that this makes it even more important for HTH to be competitive. There would be a consultation in 2021 on the proposals and plans were being made for this potential opportunity.

     

    ·       Cllr Rich asked about Section 2.30 in the report. He declared an interest by virtue of the fact that he is a Youth Magistrate in another Borough. The report notes an 18% increase in robbery in Barnet over the past year which involved mainly young people stealing from young people.

     

    Mr Khan, Head of Counter Fraud Operations, noted that the Council is in regular contact with the police on such issues and that this problem also affects Brent and Harrow at similar levels. Mr Leng, Community Safety Officer, reported that a small number of minors had been involved and had been responsible for a significant spike in crime. Occasionally individuals from outside the Borough create stark increases in crime. Cllr Rich noted that he would be keen to discuss this further with Mr Leng outside the meeting.

    Action: Mr Leng

     

    ·       Cllr Conway asked how the Registration Service had overachieved in its income targets by £200,000 in 2019-20.

     

    Mr May responded that this had happened following a review of the service when it was contracted in to Barnet.

     

    ·       Cllr Conway noted that it would be helpful to see comparative costs from other Boroughs in relation to the School Libraries Resource Services.

     

    Ms Richens would follow up after the meeting.

    Action: Ms Richens

     

    ·       Cllr Conway stated that a lot of people were volunteering especially during the pandemic so she would welcome a volunteer accreditation scheme as part of business planning. 

     

    ·       Cllr Conway expressed her concern that the report did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 179 KB

    Minutes:

    The Committee received the Forward Plan.

    Cllr Conway requested a more proactive and strategic approach to focusing on delivery and prioritisation of issues, and a mechanism for improved engagement and scrutiny. She noted that the Mayor of London has implemented an action plan to look at the Metropolitan police and BAME communities in particular which has parallels with issues raised at the meeting about the dialogue between the police and communities and how this is managed by the Council and others. Cllr Conway suggested that she discuss this with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of CLLC and that papers from SCPB be shared with CLLC.

    Cllr Conway added that the Safer Neighbourhoods Board provides a community voice around crime and including it at CLLC would provide added scrutiny. There may be other issues Members are aware of that don’t get reported to CLLC, so scrutiny is missed. The Borough Command Unit reports appeared to have been left off the agenda, as well as domestic violence. Also given the conversations about cladding and fire safety it would be helpful to discuss this at CLLC. 

    The Chairman responded that issues can straddle two committees and the risk is that they will be reported to Policy & Resources Committee as a result. Many of the topics discussed at CLLC are part of periodic reviews, and the schedule allows officers time to put together meaningful information that Members can interrogate. He noted that he would be happy to discuss this further with Cllr Conway outside the meeting.

    Action: Chairman, Cllr Conway

    Cllr Weeden-Sanz noted that there is a risk of duplicating work for officers if the correct mechanisms for highlighting issues are not used. Callover would be offered as agreed earlier in the meeting, and maybe training should be improved if required to fully support Members to raise issues that have not been highlighted elsewhere, through the appropriate channels. 

     

10.

Any item(s) the Chairman decides are urgent

    Minutes:

    Cllr Conway expressed her thanks to the Young Barnet Foundation for their Christmas Gifts Appeal, and to all organisations involved in the Bringing Smiles to Your Door Campaign. She also thanked the voluntary sector for their recent meeting on equality and diversity at OneStonegrove which will make a huge contribution on wellbeing and safety in the Borough.